The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is mulling a proposal to bring in private players to manage its telecom research and development (R&D) wing Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), according to people aware of the matter.
As per the proposal, the private sector will have 51% ownership in C-DOT whereas the government’s ownership will come down to 49%. The proposal is aimed at making C-DOT as a global R&D centre and making it a technological system integrator.
Established in August 1984 as an autonomous centre of DoT, C-DOT carries out R&D for indigenous design, development and production of telecom technologies, and other technology equipments.
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The core software of 4G and 5G telecom stack has also been designed by C-DOT. The organisation is also working to develop disaster management solutions and a national firewall to strengthen cybersecurity solutions, which will have software intelligence to mitigate the impact, among other things.
According to sources, the government is looking to revamp the entire corporate structure of C-DOT and will form units like technology transfer and R&D. Further, involvement of the private sector will take the company out of government’s regulations in salary structure and procurement of raw technology, etc.
The shareholding agreement with the private players will be such that to protect the government’s interest, sources said.
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For the government, C-DOT forms a key part in the rollout of BSNL 4G and 5G services. The stack designed by C-DOT has also witnessed interests from many countries and the government may soon start exporting the same after it is commercially deployed in the country.
For C-DOT, hiring and retaining talent in the technology domain forms a key part of its operations. A revamp in the structure and government’s plans to improve C-DoT’s operations will also help the organisation to source top-notch talent for R&D and design, according to experts.